Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has a tool that has proven valuable to not only the Sheriff’s Office, but other jurisdictions as well. Star One is Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office’s Search and Rescue Helicopter. Most know that Star One and it’s pilots have been utilized to search for those who flee from justice with great accuracy. But many don’t realize that Star One is also used to assist personnel in rescue situations. Such was the situation this past Saturday night on the Cahaba River.
At approximately 6:45 on Saturday, May 2, 2020, Jefferson County Deputies were dispatched, along with the Irondale Police Department and the Rocky Ridge Fire Department, to the Cahaba River in the vicinity of Barber’s Motor Sports. They had received a report of a group of 7 people who had been rafting on the Cahaba and were lost. It was growing dark and the citizens were unfamiliar with the river. Working together, the responding departments were able to establish a general location of the lost subjects. On-scene responders then called out Star One. Star One was able to use their technology to not only locate the citizens, but also to hold a light on them so that responders on the ground could reach them. Without Star One, the search would have likely taken many hours. Luckily, with the chopper in the air, the citizens were taken to safety in approximately 2 hours.
Pilot Bryan Griffin of the Birmingham Police Department and Tactical Flight Officer, Jesse Adams from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office were the two crew members responsible for the rescue Saturday night. However, Chief Pilot Jonathan Johnson and the rest of the Flight Team have been behind the controls for many of Star One’s other missions. The crew is always available (weather permitting) when Deputies or other municipalities have a need.